URI and the City of New Haven’s ‘bioswale’ project


Getting caught in a midsummer downpour is all too familiar to Connecticut residents. But our feelings toward rainfall vary widely: white-collar workers grab their umbrellas begrudgingly, cursing the heavens as they rush through city centers; children pounce on puddles, splashing each other and the occasional passerby; and local farmers close valves with a grin, admiring the natural watering of their fields.

For many of us, our interaction with the season’s rains does not extend beyond mixed feelings, and amounts to nothing more than soaked shoes and green lawns. But a group of Yale scientists and New Haven community supporters is beginning to grow from the ground up to address the environmental and social impacts of stormwater runoff in what some call the greatest small city in America.

The Yale Office of Sustainability sat down with Kelsey Semrod (MESc ’16) from the Urban Resources Initiative (URI) to find out more about how Yale and the City of New Haven are coming together to construct over 200 ‘bioswales’ – manually dug depressions designed to collect and infiltrate stormwater runoff in urban areas – with the goal of reducing the throughput of harmful pollutants to the Long Island Sound and its tributaries.

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Original source: published on June 18, 2015 by the Yale Office of Sustainability >> http://sustainability.yale.edu/news/channeling-town-gown-resources-bolster-ecological-resilience#sthash.tRCqPeVa.dpuf